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Feeding the Hungry – Gives Vision to Practical Religion

Touch the Soil News #375 The food landscape in America is migrating beyond mega-farms and USDA policy. It has become an arena not only of social activism, but religious activism as well. It happens frequently that church congregations are seeing their physical assets and members in new and active ways. Grounds owned by churches are converted to food gardens, tended by congregation members with the produce donated to food banks and soup kitchens. Recently the Montgomery News (www.montgomerynews.com) reported on two Lutheran Church congregations in Sellersville, Pennsylvania joining forces to start raising food for the needy. The Jerusalem Lutheran Church had the land and the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church had…

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What Hunger In America Tells Us About the Economy

Touch the Soil News #293 We are always looking for deeper insights into the food chain. The food chain offers powerful insights into the world we live in. For those unfamiliar, Feeding America is the nation’s national food bank network. It has over 200 direct affiliates that in turn work with some 50,000 agencies that have charitable feeding programs. We recently came across a story in the Miami Herald about Feeding South Florida – a direct affiliate of the national Feeding America network. Feeding South Florida, serves Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties that together have a population of roughly six million. Out of that number, Feeding South Florida…

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Union of Concerned Scientists – Fix Food and Farming

Touch the Soil News #283 Usually when we think of the Union of Concerned Scientists we think about things like global pollution, unsustainable energy or climate change. However, the scientists recently came out with a 20-page report that had some pretty bold statements about the nation’s food system. Following are two statements they published: The nation’s cities are at the frontlines of a food system that is sickening millions of Americans every year and keeping many of these same people impoverished. This dysfunctional system is the product of federal food and agriculture policies that encourage overproduction and overconsumption of unhealthy processed foods. Local communities should not have to fight an…

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City Mayors of America Weigh in on Hunger

Touch the Soil News #282 The mayors of the major cities in America (cities of 30,000 and more) get together each year to discuss topics of mutual concern – one of them being hunger. Their umbrella organization is called the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). There are 1,407 cities of 30,000 or more and each city is represented in this organization by their mayor. President Obama addresses the United States Conference of Mayors. To the extent that America’s mayors get involved in solving hunger and homelessnes is the extent to which political power may increase for the nation’s mayors. Every year, the USCM puts together a report on hunger…

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The U.S. Versus Kenya – Which is the Most Food-Progressive?

Touch the Soil News #275 Recently the news conglomerate All Africa, published an article on kitchen gardening in Busia County, of Western Kenya. Kitchen gardening is the practice of raising leafy greens, vegetables, fruits or herbs in close proximity to the kitchen. The reason for the resurgence of home gardening stems around three things – health, income from extra produce to sell and its becoming “vogue” to do so. Timely rains and some irrigation infrastructure allows most kitchen gardeners to raise crops year-round. Local governments, NGO’s and non-profits are contributing to the success of kitchen gardening through training of crop husbandry, organic methods, and sustainable practices. In addition to kitchen…

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